Sanaa Diary: Walking in the rain

Sanaa Diary: Walking in the rain
Osamah al-Fakih's latest Sanaa diary, demonstrating the difficulty of producing #SupportYemen's latest video.
3 min read
15 May, 2015
The airstrike on Nuqum set off multiple explosions (AFP)

The night before we released #SupportYemen's latest video, The Color of Injustice – one that we had been working on day and night as fast as we could under difficult circumstances – I had to face a problem many Yemenis are facing: the absence of transportation as a result of the severe shortage of fuel across the country.

I left that evening to head to my dear friend's place. AbduRahman Hussain, or Afro as we call him, is the director of the video and a #SupportYemen co-founder, was working on the last edits and touches, and he needed my help. I left the office at 8 pm while it was raining heavily. As a result of the existing bad infrastructure, the rainwater filled the streets. There were no buses and taxis, so I found myself having no option but to just walk and walk in the rain, with the water close to my knees.

It took me around an hour to get to Afro's. We stayed up until 5 am the next morning working on the last edits in the video and the press releases, sending emails, and tweeting under candlelight so as to save the battery for the internet. After releasing the video I managed to pick up a cold and spent two days at home recovering. My mind wandered to the idea of buying a bicycle, perhaps it would make things easier.

The arrogance of both the internal aggressors, the Houthis and Saleh forces, and the external Saudi-led coalition, never looks at the victims and the suffering they face on a daily basis. Instead, the arrogance of the two sides is increasing leaving Yemenis in catastrophic living conditions to wait for death either by an airstrike, anti-aircraft bullets, or a lack of necessary services including medication.

A couple of days after releasing the video, an airstrike targeted Nuqum mountain that holds a weapons store and the result was almost as similar as the Faj Attan explosion on April 20. I was at the #SupportYemen office when Nuqum was hit. The sounds of the explosions and the shells set off at Nuqum as a result of the airstrike was incredibly scary and left us in fear. Me and my colleagues ran to the bathroom – the safest place in the office.

The anxiety and the stress was clear in our faces, and we were afraid of receiving bad news about friends or family members lost in the catastrophe, especially when we heard that a number of civilian houses were affected and a number of dead and injured had already been reported.

The sounds of the explosions, along with the shaking voices of my friends and family, are still resonating in my head until now.

I was finally able to leave the office at around 8 pm that night, and a huge fire from the airstrike target could be seen. I'm writing this piece and the shelling is still ongoing. The question is: who is going to foot the bill?